Popular actress Nikita "Gloria" in Queen of Katwe succumbs to cancer

Carla Harmon
February 16, 2020

Ugandan actress, Nikita Pearl Waligwa, actress who played the role of Lupita Nyong'o's daughter in the Hollywood movie Queen of Katwe has died.

Nikita succumbed to brain cancer on Saturday at TMR International Hospital in Naalya, a Kampala suburb.


The film was about a chess prodigy rising from a Ugandan slum and was based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi.

Waligwa was initially diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016, and her film family mobilized to get her treatment in India. Waligwa portrayed Gloria, a friend of Phiona who explained the rules of chess to her.


Tributes were coming in for her on social media as Ugandans expressed sadness and recalled her role in the 2016 movie directed by Mira Nair and filmed in Kampala.

Queen of Katwe is based on the true story of Ugandan woman Phiona Mutesi, whose life changed when she took up the game of chess and, despite not being in school, became so successful that she became a chess player on the worldwide stage.


Nikita was given a positive assessment report in 2017 but in 2019, she was found to have another tumour. "The head feels heavy, so she always lies down but she can walk", said her mother Rachel Asiimwe Waligwa at the time.

Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER